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Patient Education


A variety of medications are available to treat heart disease. Medications will be prescribed that your doctor believes are best for you. Although medications do not "cure" the problem, they can be quite helpful in reducing symptoms and in improving the quality of life for patients with heart disease.


Years ago, the saying was, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away." Now, it seems an aspirin goes a long way toward the same result.

Aspirin has been found to serve as a mild blood thinner. The beneficial effect of this blood-thinning trait is that it lessens the chances of blood clotting inside the blood vessels. It also allows blood to flow more easily in regions where arteries may be narrowed due to accumulation of cholesterol plaque.

A single "baby aspirin" each day is sufficient to obtain the beneficial effects of aspirin. One of the side effects of prolonged aspirin use is a tendency to bleed more than before initiating an aspirin a day regimen. You may notice this if you cut yourself. Most people can tolerate aspirin, but it can cause stomach discomfort in some individuals.

Blood Pressure Medication

If dietary changes alone are insufficient to lower your blood pressure, your doctor may recommend medication. Treating high blood pressure requires commitment on your part. To be effective, the blood pressure medication must be taken as instructed. Staying on the medication is most difficult when it is doing its job well because your blood pressure is within an acceptable range. However, should you stop taking the medication, you run the risk of allowing your blood pressure to rise above desirable limits.

Cholesterol Lowering Medication

Some people have high serum cholesterol levels because their dietary intake is exceptionally high in fat. Others have high serum cholesterol levels because their system does not breakdown the fats in their bloodstream as efficiently as desired. In both of these examples, the serum cholesterol level may be dramatically reduced through a combination of diet and exercise. Still other individuals have problems that cause elevated serum cholesterol regardless of how well their control their diet and stick with an exercise program.

When diet and exercise are not enough to reduce serum blood cholesterol levels medication is usually prescribed. Generally, the cholesterol-lowering medications should be taken immediately after meals to be most effective. As with blood pressure medication, the challenge of cholesterol medication is taking them on a regular basis.